Kiefer Sutherland missed his '24' ''family'' while the show was off air.

The 47-year-old actor is back as fugitive ex-Counter Terrorist Agent Jack Bauer in new FOX series '24: Live Another Day' and he admits when the show ended in 2010 after eight seasons he found it hard to know he wouldn't get to see the friends he had made working on the program.

Speaking at a special screening of the first episode at Old Billingsgate Market in London on Tuesday night (07.05.14), Kiefer said: ''I was fine putting the character to bed but we had worked with the crew for eight years, 98 percent of those people were there from day one to the very end. I think over the course of the eight years 32 children were born and 42 marriages happened. I know it sounds trite but we were a family.

''I went to say goodbye to the camera operator Guy on the last day and we used to have a phrase 'we danced together'. He did some of the most beautiful handheld work I've ever seen in my life and he was like working with a really talented actor and I went to shake his hand I wanted to say, 'It's been an honor.' I'm not a real crier but my lip went and I had to look away and so did he. I miss that, I miss my friends ... I just knew that I wasn't going to be able to see those people every day; I knew I wasn't going to work with those actors everyday and I think that was the hardest thing for me to let go of and that will always be the thing I missed the most about the show. With regards to the character if I want to pull out some costumes I can do that stuff in my house but I miss the people.''

Kiefer admits he was as surprised as anyone when he was told by lead writer Howard Gordon that '24' was coming back.

The action hero was initially worried the new series wouldn't be able to match the show's high standards but he thinks the London-based adventure about a plot to assassinate the US President is the best series ever.

Kiefer - who was joined at the Q&A by his co-stars Mary Lynn Rajskub and Yvonne Strahovski - said: ''What's it like having Jack back in my life? Well, surprising would be the first word. We put this to bed for a reason, Howard Gordon our lead writer was tired, he'd written 196 episodes which is an unbelievably prolific amount of work it's almost equivalent to a hundred in an eight-year period, so I was very surprised. I actually called him to congratulate him on his Golden Globe win for 'Homeland' and he said, 'I'm really glad you called, I want to talk to you about something.'

''We had set the bar for ourselves with the eight seasons we had done and the last thing we want to do is damage the legacy of a show you've put to bed. Having said that now we've almost finished I'm so glad that this was the decision we made, it's just been an unbelievable experience. I think we've made the best ever season of '24'.''